FAMILY?

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My younger brother Stevie called only to request money for savings bonds for Chet’s grandchildren. He and the other three, Don, Seth and Tom, seem to have guilt over the estrangement they’ve had. They want to say it’s from the Wilkins family. He said he knows I had a complicated relationship with Chet. Complicated relationship?  Wilkins family? That is not my family. 

Apparently he is flying to Texas to a funeral for a sibling he hasn’t seen or heard from in 30 years. He is terribly misguided and I believe is trying to relieve his guilt with money. He need not feel guilty. Communication goes both ways. It’s not a one way street. 

Stevie didn’t ask how I was doing nor mention anything about my hospital stay that I am sure his wife told him about. He didn’t call at the time either. Who are these people? Family? 

I chatted briefly and after telling him ‘No, I don’t feel obligated to do that,’ we ended the conversation. I then emailed him. I still cannot mouth the words of what I’ve been through, but I write. It’s the first time I have boldly stated the facts directly to him, though I assume he has read my book having sent the link to him more than a year ago.   

I know you mean well, but I didn’t have a complicated relationship with Chet. He abused me over and over for a period of at least two years with plenty of other horrid stuff, just like Dan, and Tom. I still suffer the aftereffects and unfortunately always will. Things were taken I can’t get back, like innocence and trust for starters. I leave my body because it’s too hard to be in it. I suffer from PTSD which has never gone away. I forgave them all even though not one has said they are sorry, nor has anyone else, those that knew and did nothing. I do not call them by anything except sibling. Brothers love, protect and cherish, not attack.

Love ya little brother,

Patricia

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20 thoughts on “FAMILY?

  1. I love the clarity that comes through in this. Even though there is a question mark, you don’t question whether or not they embody family and what that means. You are clear. I really like that and to me it shows strength.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have heard/ read it can be really difficult when a persons abuser dies. It made sense to me, on a logical level. But as I read how your brother calls you up so thoughtlessly to ask you to give money to your abusers family I emotionally cringe for you. It is so very ironic that he is clearly not calling to connect with you at all. It almost feels like his distance is the biggest blow.

    Lets see, please call me and remind me of that awful abuser, and reopen that wound, then poke around in it by asking me to donate money, then insult me by showing total lack of care for me as your sibling, and end it all with the remaining smell of your personal guilt left in the air.

    I wish, for your sake, he would just call you back, and ask you how you are doing with all this. Ask you how you are doing after your stay in the hospital. Now that would be something, real, that could do something for him, if he is feeling upset at there being distance with his siblings.

    I think it is good that you represented your self in your written reply. And how accurate and honest your reply is.

    By the way, how are you doing after your stay in the hospital? You seem to be keeping up with your cute little granddaughter amazingly well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. His distance is the biggest blow. And yes, I’d rather not have the thoughts of each of them swirled up again as it had settled down a few days after hearing the news and figuring out how I felt. I could have done without the call. You say it all so exactly and know my feelings in a way others besides those I find here…don’t.
      I find myself wanting to help him assuage his guilt, and not to fly to Texas.
      An internal bleed can take months to heal. As long as I follow a diet that is kind to my GI tract I hope to heal up inside OK. Thank you for asking. And yes, Cindy brightens up both our lives so much!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. For me that space in the middle of the web, is you, as you detangle yourself from all that tried to tie you down and bring you down. You are separate from them and as hard as it is to be disengaged from “family”, it is necessary for your survival. You have claimed a space of your own filled with dignity and great grace :). I am proud to be your friend.

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  4. Good for you for not accepting his guilt. Good for you for recognizing it. Good for you for not tearing a strip off him. Good for you for stating clearly in the email your perspective, again without tearing a strip off him. This shouts “I’m broken, but I’m healing!” Good for you. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Judy.
      I’d like to rephrase that in alignment with my own view. Were things taken irrevocably gone? Yes, for instance innocence and trust. But I never viewed myself as broken or damaged. Those are things that are thrown away.
      I spent too long not feeling fit to live, that might be viewed by others as broken, but not by me. And I spent much of my life not wanting life.
      But I am not broken. Enough is intact, and I am happy. (happy=peace for me)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I had a crazy busy week so it’s just now, this Saturday morning, that I am catching up on my favorite blogs.

    Like other readers, I admire and celebrate your integrity. You stayed true to yourself and in simple and honest language, explained that to your little brother. You are brave and, well, just awesome.

    I hope you also have a little shield around your beautiful, tender heart. Stevie may not be able to give you the loving, brotherly response you deserve. Clearly he has some emotional confusion and pain of his own–as you recognize when you write of his distance from Chet and now his guilt. One way or the other, the crimes and secrets within your family have also wounded him. That SHOULD make him tender and sympathetic to you, but it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes people protect themselves through denial or minimization. I don’t know what will happen in the longer run, but I feel the urge to tell you what you already know: whatever his response is, it is not about you.

    I just love your letter. Brava!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. mmmmmmm okay, I actually choked a bit when I read that first sentence and had to read it over again and a third time before I continued on. Now I don’t know you all that well, but the little I have come to know through your story and writings I was wondering if I’d missed something. Sadly no, I hadn’t missed anything, which you so eloquently put into perspective. I could say many things having had a similar experience when my abusive brother chose to end his life penniless without a Will. I applaud you for finding your own way to say what you needed to say while maintaining the self respect and integrity you have worked so darn hard to find and nurture for yourself. How sad he feels the need to go to that extreme to placate his own guilt and given the apathy he’s shown you with all of this, it’s possibly fair to say he will be doing it over and over again rather than appreciate what he has while he has it. I will remember your words and grace for when and if I ever get those calls to announce the passing of ‘siblings’ I choose to remain distant from. Much love and hugs to you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The hug is needed and appreciated during a confusing time. Doing something different rather than the expected norm feels like standing on the edge of a shaky precipice, taking a dive not knowing if or when one might land. Open arms are welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

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